The Bane of My Existence SFX Library

Through some cruel twist of fate, I ended up living next to a highway. It lies there… Never sleeping, never resting, never ceasing to make my life miserable. Though miles out of town, I cannot escape the road noise. Time forged on with obdurate impetus as things I desired to record piled up in various stages of desuetude; plans were perpetually pushed back.

Rendered incapable of recording anything due to its all-consuming malevolence, I was left with no option but to record the road itself. This would serve as what little petty revenge I could attain.

I would record the whole ordeal at 192kHz, to capture fully every nuance of its peerless depravity, its unconscionable effrontery, its odious importunity that had proven so stultifying.

I would largely forgo my usual XY approach in favor ORTF, for I would require the increased width to contain its flagitious din, though XY would remain where space constraints dictated its implementation.

So, I spent some time recording the highway from various perspectives, distances, and times of day. Though the traffic never stops at any part of the day, it does get much sparser at night. I also recorded the road from inside parked cars, the house, a wooden shed, a mailbox (XY), a driveway culvert (XY), and a roof vent duct (XY). Most of the recordings have various birds audible, some have frogs, some have rain and wind, two have thunder, and one has the microphones placed right next to a large swarm of bees around some wisteria, all of it drowned out by road noise.

In total, there is just over seven hours of material across 19 files at 24/192, totaling 29.37GB.

The Bane of My Existence
19 stereo files at 24/192, 7 hours, 29.39GB (23.9GB Download)
Includes CSV, XLSX, and PDF Track Lists

PDF Track List

CRT TV Destruction SFX Library

CRT TV Destruction is a royalty-free collection of various impacts, drops, and movements of glass, metal, and plastic from a CRT TV.

Disclaimer: This entire library was recorded in a small, interior space, as that was the only location available at the time where I could make the huge mess the recordings required. As a result, the recordings all have prominent short reverb, but it was my only option.

The library contains 451 XY stereo files at 24/96. Most of the files are of a single take, but a few have multiple takes. As usual, the only processing I’ve used is general cleanup (noise removal, etc), and I have not applied any EQ or dynamics processing.

What makes CRT TVs so nice for destruction is the collection of several different materials. You get the plastic of the outer shell, the unusual glass of the screen, and various types of metal, small and large, and thick and thin.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about a CRT TV is the glass. It’s very thick (around an inch and a half thick at the front) lead glass. What makes this glass so interesting is that it often sounds more like metal than glass, so clanks and shatters made with it are very distinct from something like windows or dishes. Being so thick, this glass is surprisingly durable. The first time it was struck dead-center with a sledgehammer, the screen didn’t break or even crack (which can be heard as the last sound in the demo below).

I recorded a lot of this glass, as I really liked its highly metallic quality. This includes hitting the screen with a sledgehammer as it progressively gets more and more broken and powdery, lifting and dropping chunks both large and small, hitting the pile of chunks with a sledgehammer, and general movement, stacking, and shuffling of the pile, as well as several recordings of a cardboard box filled with the debris. Due to the highly metallic nature of the glass, the recordings are VERY bright, so you might want to tame the high frequencies a bit.

Additionally, I recorded a lot of the metal components. This included a sturdy, resonant metal frame that went around the outer edge of the CRT itself, the thin, crinkly shadow mask, some small pieces of spring steel that seemed to be part of a degaussing system, and other thin sheets of metal that served unknown purposes. These recordings include movements, lifts, and drops of each of these components individually.

There are also recordings of the mostly empty outer plastic shell with some glass debris still inside being struck, jostled, and dropped.

This demo has some limiting applied, but there is none in the actual files.

CRT TV Destruction
451 files at 24/96, 32 minutes, 1.24GB (906.3MB Download)
Includes CSV, PDF, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

I should have taken more photos…

Rotten Wood and Particle Board Destruction SFX Library

“Rotten Wood and Particle Board Destruction” is a royalty-free collection of various destruction sounds from both a rotten wood deck and cheap, flimsy particle board.

Around two years ago, a friend of mine told me that he was going to be destroying a wooden deck that was rotting away. Knowing that I’m always looking for sounds, he asked if I wanted to come over and record it. I grabbed some microphones and headed over, and we spent the day trying to get cool destruction sounds. I ended up with a lot of good material. Additionally, I had quite a few recordings of destroying various pieces of cheap particle board a few months earlier. I figured that, added together, they might make an interesting library.

This library contains 247 files at 24/96. 240 of these are recordings of the deck and particle board, while 7 of them are impulse responses. As usual for my libraries, everything (except the impulse responses) was recorded in XY stereo. This keeps a focused center image, so the sounds can easily be panned around a sound field, but also has enough width information that they take effects and processing better than plain mono files. No compression, limiting, or EQ has been applied. Some of the files are single takes, and some contain multiple takes.

Some of the rotten wood recordings have multiple perspectives, and these are labelled “A”, “B”, and “C”.

“A” is the same XY used on all the other recordings
“B” is a widely spaced cardioid pair for very exaggerated width
“C” is a mono shotgun mic for a more direct sound. There are very few of these, as it rarely proved interesting.

Perspectives “B” and “C” are strictly additional perspectives, so every sound still has the normal XY stereo version (except the impulse responses). Only a few recordings have these additional perspectives (check track list below for details), and only of the rotten wood. NONE of the particle board has additional perspectives.

Natural outdoor reverb is clearly audible in a few of the recordings, and this is noted in the filename and metadata of those recordings.

Included are 7 impulse responses of rotten wood boards (there are none of the particle board). These are extremely muffled and dull, with high frequencies that are either extremely weak or basically nonexistent. They also have highly asymmetrical stereo sound fields, and so feel uncomfortably lopsided. They also massively exaggerate low frequencies. While these may at first seem pretty useless, I feel they can be deceptively useful.

An example of how I personally have used one of them can be heard in this video:

All the tracks in this video were originally plain mono. “Impulse Response Rotten Wood Board 04 Sharper Asymmetrical.wav” from this library was used on the bassline to give it a strange, continually moving wide stereo image, for an ethereal, dreamlike feel. The asymmetry of the impulse response did need to be corrected, as well as the massively inflated low frequencies, but nonetheless, I like the effect it gave.

This library includes 145 (125 XY stereo, 16 spaced pair stereo, 4 mono) files from the rotten wood deck, 95 stereo files from the particle board, and 7 stereo impulse responses, all at 24 bit, 96kHz.

Rotten Wood and Particle Board Destruction
247 files at 24/96, 40 minutes, 1.39 GB (902.1 MB download)
Includes CSV, PDF, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

The Tube SFX Library

“The Tube” is a royalty-free collection of recordings and sounds made from swinging a cardboard tube. The sounds this particular tube makes when swung are quite interesting, and I have yet to encounter another one that sounds like it.

I came across this cardboard tube a few years ago. It seemed entirely unremarkable at the time, but as I was about to throw it away, I discovered it made a very unusual whoosh sound when swung. I decided to keep it so that someday I could record it.

Essentially, this tube makes hollow, ethereal tones when swung, which I found to be pretty cool. Upon further experimentation, I found that it made four distinct sounds at four distinct swing speeds.

In this library, these four sounds are named “slow”, “medium slow”, “medium fast”, and “fast” (there are a few takes of a fifth sound, which was swinging the tube backwards, but this is mostly just air, and doesn’t have much of a distinct tone). Each one occurs at a specific speed of swing, which wasn’t always easy to hit exactly, so there are takes in this library that are at slightly incorrect or inconsistent speeds, and they are labeled as such.

  • Slow – This is a fairly gentle, simple, low hum. I refer to this one as “somber” in the metadata. Its loudest component is around 100Hz
  • Medium Slow – This is higher, and more of a whistle than a hum. I refer to this one as “mournful” in the metadata. It contains a short bit of the “slow” sound at either end, as it accelerates and decelerates. Its loudest component is around 370Hz
  • Medium Fast – This is notably louder than the previous sounds, and causes the most vibration of the tube itself. I refer to it as “more aggressive” in the metadata. It tends to contain a short bit of both “slow” and “medium slow” at either end. Its loudest component is around 250Hz.
  • Fast – This is the most complex and airy sound, and has the most speed-depended variation. I refer to this one as “musical” in the metadata. It tends to contain a short bit of all three previous speeds at either end. Its loudest component is around 500-600Hz, depending on speed.

While one may expect the tube to transition smoothly from one tone to the next as speed increases, it actually steps directly from one to the other, without much transition.

This main body of this library is essentially just many, many takes of those four main sounds. This means that there isn’t a tremendous amount of variety here, as it is all just this one tube.

For each of the four main sounds, I did four versions:

  • Long distance swing – usually 180 degrees around me (if you imagine looking straight down at me from above) or more. “fast” tended to be more, something like 270 degrees.
  • Short distance swing- various lengths, but all significantly less than 180 degrees. The intent is to provide takes that naturally terminate in a shorter amount of time, rather than forcing you to artificially shorten a much longer take, as I found that very difficult to do without ending up with something that sounded very obviously edited.
  • Random – this is one long file of me doing many takes of a particular speed. Various lengths and angles. The intent is to provide even more takes and variety, in case, for example, you are trying to sync to a very specific visual, and not just any swing with do.
  • Continuous – this is where I did my best to maintain a specific tone continuously for a good length of time. This proved enormously difficult to do especially for “medium slow”, and as such, most of these continuous takes are inconsistent, and have very pronounced frequency fluctuations, like really obvious “wow” on an extremely warped record. I really wish these were more consistent, but it’s the best I could do. I suppose you could use some sort of pitch corrector to smooth out the frequency fluctuations…

I did many takes of all four of these versions of all four sounds in both mono (shotgun mic) and stereo (XY mic). My reasoning is that the mono files provide a very direct, immediate recording of the sound, while the stereo files are better for applying effects than plain mono files, and just generally have more information in them for design. Also, the mono and stereo versions were recorded totally separately, rather than doing both perspectives simultaneously, so they are all unique takes.

In both the mono and stereo files, the microphone follows the source of the sound, so the stereo files do not have panning in them. Instead, the sound is centered in the stereo field (some takes aren’t perfectly centered, or drift off center, and are noted as such).

This all amounts to a huge number of takes of each sound. For example, for just the long distance swing of the “slow” sound, there are 20 takes in MONO, then 17 more in STEREO. And that’s just for one version of one speed.

The sheer quantity of takes included may seem like ludicrous overkill, and almost certainly is, but I am of the opinion that there is no such thing as too many takes.

In total there are 257 mono files, and 194 stereo files. These recordings have no EQ, compression, or limiting.

In addition to these plain recordings, there are 148 designed sounds, all made from the same tube. While I originally did not intend to include more than a small handful of designed sounds, I ended up making quite a few interesting things while playing with the recordings. Almost all of these designed sounds are highly synthetic or “sci-fi” in nature, and weren’t really made with any intended purpose in mind. They also are not really “ready to use” in the sense that almost all of them have not had their dynamic range altered, and will very likely need compression or limiting when implemented. While all of these are made directly from recordings of the tube, many of them were made using raw material that is not included in this library. For the most part, it’s a bunch of weird, synthetic-sounding stuff I made for fun.

Also included are 4 impulse responses of the tube’s interior. One is stereo, and the other three are mono. While normally I would never make a mono impulse response, I included some just for additional variety, and because it’s easier to fit a mono mic inside of a narrow tube…

These impulse responses, when applied, make things sound very hollow and muffled. Three of the four also result in very boomy bass. I have no idea what these would be used for, or if anyone would find these useful in the slightest, but I think they’re kind of neat in a general sort of way. And they only add a couple megabytes to the library, so why not?

This library includes: 194 stereo and 257 mono plain recordings, 108 stereo and 40 mono designed files, 1 stereo and 3 mono impulse responses, for a total of 603 files, all at 24/96. Total runtime is 1 hour, 5 minutes.

This first sample includes only the plain recordings of the tube. This demo has had some loudness processing, but the actual files in the library have not.

The demo includes only designed sounds. As I mentioned above, they are predominantly very synthetic-sounding.

This is a demonstration of one of the impulse responses. The first half of the music is totally dry, and the second half is at 100% wet level. This only demonstrated one of the impulse responses, as the other three are very similar, with fairly minor variations to frequency response.

The Tube
603 files at 24/96, 1 hour 5 Minutes, 1.84GB (1.5GB Download)
Includes CSV, PDF, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

Vintage Electric Stapler SFX Library

Vintage Electric Stapler is a royalty-free library of sounds extracted from an old electric stapler. As far as I can tell, it is from the 1950’s, but there isn’t exactly an abundance of specific information on this particular model.

Yet another odd thing I found at a yard sale, this stapler was shoved in the corner with a bunch of junk. It grabbed my attention as a potential source of interesting sounds. While it was obviously electric due to the power cord, I had no clue how exactly it functioned, or if it even worked. Immediately upon picking it up, I was rather taken-aback by the build quality. Like everything from the era, it is build like a tank, weighing in at over five pounds. For a device that is meant to drive standard-sized staples into paper documents, it’s absurdly large, heavy, and sturdy, starkly juxtaposed against the small, lightweight, plastic ones we have now.

It looked like it was in pretty decent condition, other than the base, which is make of some weird, foam-like, rubbery material and is disintegrating with age. I bought it, and took it home. As far as I was concerned, if it didn’t work and I couldn’t get sounds of it functioning, I could always get the sounds of destroying it (my usual mindset when it comes to recording things). I plugged it in, turned it on, and hit the trigger (the little tab that paper hits when you slide it under the stapler head). I was rather surprised at how violent the action is. I assumed it would simply press the stapler down onto the paper, but instead it slams it down with a remarkable amount of force. It actuates so violently that it actually bounces a bit. The designers noticed this, apparently, because on the bottom of the disintegrating foam base is a set of suction cups (which are too geriatric to be useful now). The action cycles so quickly that there really aren’t any individual mechanical sounds to be heard. It’s mostly just a really short metallic smack. Nonetheless, it is an interesting sound, and there are many other sounds it can make.

And thus, this library.

It contains 43 stereo files at 24/96, totaling 26 minutes. It is mostly a small collection of various metallic mechanical sounds. Few of the sounds even sound like a stapler, so they could work as general mechanisms. As usual, I recorded everything in XY stereo, so you can mix down to mono just fine. No EQ, compression, or limiting has been used.

Vintage Electric Stapler
43 Stereo Files at 24/96, 26 Minutes, 909MB (599.6MB Download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX Track Lists

PDF Track List

All photos by Herschel Matthews

Vintage Electric Stapler Cover





Post-Surgery Cat Vocals Library

Post-Surgery Cat Vocals is a royalty-free collection of strange sounds made by my cat after he had surgery. The library contains 62 mono files at 24/192, totaling 44 seconds.

Two years ago, one of our cats had surgery (don’t worry, he’s totally fine now). When we got him back home after the surgery, I noticed immediately that his voice sounded a lot different than usual; his voice sounded very strained and raspy and weak.

This particular cat’s voice was unusual to begin with. His meows have always had a strong nasal element that is not typical of other cats. Add to this the fact that he talks more frequently than most cats, and he was odd to start with, but he sounded even weirder after the surgery.

Naturally, my first inclination was to immediately grab a mic and start recording him. I wasn’t sure how long the effect would last (and I was hoping it wasn’t permanent), so I recorded as much as I could for the next two or so days. After just a few days he already sounded normal again (and he has ever since), so I wasn’t able to get a ton out of him, but I did get some cool stuff.

Perhaps the biggest challenge was getting him to vocalize at all. Although he is usually an abnormally talkative for a cat, when I would sit down with a mic and talk to him to coax him into vocalizing, he would maybe vocalize a few times and then just start purring from all the attention. Once he really started purring (which didn’t sound unusual, unfortunately, so it wasn’t worth recording), he would stop vocalizing until I left for a bit and came back later. I repeated this several times over two or three days, and still only ended up with 62 sounds worth keeping.

After that, the hard part was in cleanup and editing. These files were EXTREMELY dirty. There was background noise, the sounds were very quiet, and he was moving around (which makes more noise), so I had to move to keep the mic in front of him (which makes more noise), so at the end of it all, it took quite a lot of work to get these as useable as they are. On top of this, these were recorded with a pretty cheap shotgun microphone, as, two years ago, I didn’t own a good shotgun mic. And since the files are dirty enough already, I didn’t want to switch to my better cardioid mics, because I couldn’t afford to have more extraneous noise. The good news is that although the mic was crappy, the recorder was not. This was recorded with a Sound Devices 702 at 24/192, but that only helps so much, of course.

Which brings me to my main point: these sounds are very low quality. There are several sounds included that are dirty enough that if they were anything I could repeat, I would instantly throw them away and re-record them. I did not discard them and instead included them, because although they are terrible quality, they are interesting, and it’s impossible to re-record them. Some of the dirtiness of the sounds is mitigated by how quiet they are. I have set them all to peak at -6 dBFS, but this is just for convenience in working with them, and they should really be more like -20 at the loudest. Some were originally around -40 or less.

Post-Surgery Cat Vocals
62 Mono Files at 24 bit 192kHz, 44 Seconds, 43.6 MB (35.2 MB Download)
Includes PFD, CSV, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List





Mechanical Typewriter SFX Library

Mechanical Typewriter is a royalty-free collection of recordings of an old mechanical typewriter, specifically a Royal 10. The Royal 10 started production in 1914, but that variant has two glass panels on each side. They later switched to one panel on each side (which is what this has), and no one seems quite sure when this change happened. This Typewriter is likely from roughly the 1920’s-30’s, but that’s a guess. It did not suffer the same fate as the cash register, as I didn’t really want to destroy something this old (and the cash register had the excuse of being beyond repair).

I found the typewriter at a yard sale, and it was in remarkable condition for its age. I’ve always wanted to record an old non-electric typewriter, so I grabbed it.

The recordings include everything that moves on the typewriter. Isolated keystrokes, keystrokes soft enough not to advance the carriage, platen rotations, carriage return lever at various line spacings, bell, continuous typing, spinning ribbon spools, switches etc. Included are 74 files recorded in stereo at 24-bit, 96kHz, totaling 45 minutes.

All the sounds in the library were recorded in XY stereo, as that is how I do about 90% of my recording. Being XY, they can be mixed to mono with no issues, if that better suits your needs. The mics were place about the same distance from the typewriter as one’s head would be when using it, presenting the most natural image. As with my other libraries, the sounds have no processing applied except cleanup. Many of the sounds (particularly the typing “clacks”) have large dynamic range and need limiting or compression, but I left them alone, so you can choose how to do this.

When I was first experimenting with how I would record the thing, I assumed that contact mics would result in really cool sounds. When I actually started experimenting, however, I found that, no matter where I placed them, they resulted in very underwhelming material. In the end, I included no contact mic recordings in this library. That’s the annoying thing about contact mics, they never do quite what you expect…

I almost never have a low-cut filter enabled when I record, as this allows me to keep the bass should I want to, or remove it easily in software when editing. As such, in some of the files, there is noticeable low-end rumble from vibrations traveling up the mic stand (despite the shock mount). While I could have removed this in seconds, I chose not to, as, when working with the sounds, I quite liked having it there when I was doing some design stuff. Outside of weird design usage, if you simply want clean typewriter sounds, these frequencies can be low-cut out very easily.

The following demo does contain limiting in order to keep the loudness of the various recordings somewhat even, but rest assured, this is only for the demo.

Here’s a demo showing some random sounds I made while playing with sounds from this typewriter library. These sounds are not included with the library itself, but they are a decent example of turning mundane sounds into something else entirely. While some include sounds that are not part of this library, they all involve something from this library on some level.

Mechanical Typewriter
74 stereo files at 24/96, 45 minutes, 1.55GB (1.07GB download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

All photos by Herschel Matthews








Empty House Impulse Responses Library

This library is a very small collection of impulse responses of an empty house that I made for myself, but decided to put here anyway. I have always liked the extreme reverb of an empty house, and recently got access to one. Some friends of mine began some work on their house, which involved removing everything to paint and re-do carpet and electricity, etc. So, while it was empty, I made impulse responses of each room, the hallways, and some of the ventilation system (which mostly didn’t work; more on that later). The final product is very small, consisting of 23 stereo impulse responses, recorded at 24/48, as that’s the highest I could go with the setup I was using. These are made from full-frequency sine sweeps, not claps or anything like that. See the track list below for a list of rooms and descriptions.

Aside from the rooms and hallways, I took several impulse responses of the ventilation, with interesting results. What I did was place the speaker playing the sine sweep over one vent, then the mic in a different vent somewhere else in the house. This did not actually work all that well, as the frequency response was incredibly mangled by the time it reached the mic, which resulted in the sine sweeps deconvolving strangely or incorrectly. There are three that actually worked to some degree, and when applied to a sound, they make it sound very low-fidelity, as if it were coming out of a low quality speaker. The reason being that the vent absorbed a good chunk of the frequencies, leaving a crappy frequency response, similar to what small, cheap speakers have. These three also have weird tonal anomalies in them, which I left in. You can hear this in the fifth sound (counting the dry one at the start) in the demo below, where you can hear a wispy upward pitch sweep after the main sound. I left them in because they can result in interesting things, but you could remove them if you prefer.

The other three I made of the vents failed completely. You can hear an example of each of the three at the end of the demo below. In these cases, it would seem the vent mangled the frequency response so badly, that the little that reached the mic was so incomplete that the sweep could not deconvolve into an impulse correctly. This resulted in a short, piercing pitch sweep followed by a wall of noise. This would be considered garbage, as it sucks as an impulse response of a vent, since it sound nothing like a vent, but they mangle sounds in a very interesting fashion, so I included them.

The first sound in this demo is 100% dry, just so you know what it sounds like, then each after it is 100% wet with impulse responses from this library; there is no other processing. The fifth sound (counting the dry one) is of one of the vents that worked, and the last three are the ventilation mistakes I mentioned above.
Empty House Impulse Responses
23 Stereo Files at 24-bit, 48kHz, 16MB (10.7MB Download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX Track Lists

Note that these photos below were taken a couple weeks after the recordings were made, and the rooms have a lot of stuff in them. When the recordings were made earlier, the majority of that stuff was not present.







Death of a Cash Register Library

Death of a Cash Register is a royalty-free sound library cataloguing an old cash register’s journey into transcendence. Though he dies, he is now immortal, and shall outlive all his cash register peers…

I found it at a junk shop a while ago, and the entire thing was obviously rusted solid and clearly beyond repair. It was fully mechanical, but driven or assisted by an electric motor in some manner. I’m not sure entirely how it worked, since I never got it to run (in other words, if you want sounds of a register actually functioning, this is not the library for you). It could not possibly have been of any use to anyone else, but I saw a lot of potential for sounds. I planned to record everything I could of it, from the buttons to utterly destroying it. The plan was to make a fairly small library between larger ones, but it ended up being a much larger undertaking than I had anticipated. After three months, I was pretty tired of that register.

The library contains recordings of various impacts, drops, rattles, squeaks, scrapes, springs, and mechanical movements. It includes 246 files, all recorded at 24/96 (except 5 internal impulse responses [mentioned below] which are 24/48), totaling 2 hours, 28 minutes of audio. There is a large range of sounds, from meaty clanks of thick metal, to tiny spring twangs, to armfuls of metal chunks being slammed on the ground, to small mechanical clicks, to dropping the entire thing 20ft onto asphalt. The sounds have no processing applied aside from cleanup, so there is no EQ, compression, limiting, or effects processing of any kind. All the files are stereo, as that is my preference, even when recording small things, as I feel pretty much everything benefits from the spatiality. If you want to mix them down to mono, you should have no trouble doing that, as all of the files were recorded in XY (except for the “B” files, and the internal impulse responses [mentioned below], which were done with contact mics as a spaced pair; with these you may get some phase issues mixing to mono).

Please note there are NO recordings of the register running, as it was completely non-functional, so all the mechanisms in this library are manually actuated. This does mean that the mechanisms are very clean and isolated, so they can be used for many different things. In general, none of these sounds are even identifiable as coming from a cash register (except the bell-like disk), so they would fill many different roles with ease.

I started by recording everything I could with it still intact. This includes the key being inserted and taken out, keypad buttons, the lid for changing the receipt paper, hitting it with bare hands and a crowbar, scraping it with a crowbar and a wire brush, and short-distance drops onto both carpet and hard flooring. Many of the recordings made while the register was intact have two versions: the first, called “A” in the filename is of a normal stereo mic, and the other, named “B” is a pair of contact mics attached directly to the sides of the register. The reason for this is that the thing was fairly hollow and resonant, so impacts and button presses resonated internally in an interesting fashion. The “A” and “B” files are already synchronized. They work together rather strangely, as the “A” file is a normal sounding recording with a realistic image, while the “B” file sounds aggressively close and huge and is an extremely wide image.

Once I had everything I wanted of the register intact, destruction began. It was at this point that attaching contact mics was no longer possible. It was dropped from shoulder height numerous times, then dropped from 20ft numerous times as well. I could not believe how well it held up to this. Even after THREE 20ft drops onto asphalt, it still took several hits from a heavy-duty pry bar to break the shell away from the main system. Once the main mechanism was separated from the outer shell, it was dropped from 20ft twice onto the outer shell components, and STILL it remained almost entirely intact. At the risk of sounding immensely platitudinous, they don’t make them like they used to.

Later recording sessions involved doing multiple drops of each outer shell component that had been separated, then the whole lot of them together. In the recordings of things being dropped, the object being picked up is included between drops, as this often sounded interesting. If the pick-up is not included between drops, it’s because I deemed it too boring to be useful (and I find nearly anything useful). I then went on to record manual actuation of any moveable parts I could find. Many parts were bent or broken, but this either made the sound more interesting, or freed up nearby components for actuation. I plucked and stretched any springs I could reach (you would not believe how many are in there, particularly in the mechanism that lift the plastic numbers for the readout display), and rattled everything the least bit loose. I piled all the components on top of one another, and shook them around, resulting in some meaty clanks and horrible squeaks.

Another thing I did pre-destruction was take impulse responses of the internal resonance of the register. I mentioned earlier how it was rather hollow-sounding, and I wanted to be able to apply that to other stuff. There are 5 internal impulse responses, each a little different. These were done at 24-bit, 48kHz, as that’s the highest I could go in that circumstance, unfortunately. Everything else, however, was recorded at 24/96.

There is also a sixth impulse response, which was made from an editing mistake. Although it was a mistake, I found it can make extremely cool things when used as an impulse response.

This demo should illustrate the kind of things you can expect from the library:

Death of a Cash Register
241 stereo files at 24/96, 5 stereo files at 24/48, 2 hours 28 minutes, 5.17GB (3.51GB Download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX track lists

PDF Track List

The cover photo (the black and white one of the register in the street), the photo at the top of this post, and the first photo below by Herschel Photography; the other ones below (the crappy ones) are by me.


photo 1

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photo 2

Electric Noise Library

Electric Noise is a royalty-free collection of strange recordings of noise generated by electrical devices, such as old CRT TVs, laptops, AC adapters, lights, etc. There is a variety of unnatural whines, moans, buzzes, and shrieks of various textures. Everything was recorded and mastered at 24/96, and I have processed the sounds very little, so that they retained the greatest versatility possible. There are 89 files, totaling 1 hour, 27 minutes of audio. I did my best to make the metadata as descriptive as possible, which was quite the challenge with sounds this abstract.

There are several things worth noting about the sounds:

–All the recordings are mono, which isn’t my preference, but is the nature of how they were captured. The sounds are highly unnatural already, so theoretically they would take on artificial stereo fairly well, but I have not experimented with this much, due to my distaste for it. Your mileage may vary, depending on your plug-ins and tolerance for artificial stereo.
–The recordings are pretty low-fidelity (you can hear this in the demo), despite the 24/96 resolution. This is the unavoidable nature of how the recordings were made, and is not due to a failing on my part.
–Many of the files have information up to 48kHz (see spectrograms below), meaning they pitch down well. The frequencies DO generally roll off in amplitude as they get higher, but you can compensate for this by boosting them with EQ prior to pitching, if necessary. In some cases, the opposite is true, where there are very loud things above 20kHz, that will need to be reduced when pitching them into audible range. This is all made easy by spectrograms.
–Many of the sounds are very aggressively shrill and ear-piercing. This, of course, can be changed with EQ and other processing, especially if you are using spectrograms, which allow you to pinpoint the offending frequencies instantly. I chose not to do this myself in order to leave you the creative freedom to do what you want with the sounds.
–Many of the files have several different textures or sounds in them. For example, one file that is of a particular buzz made by a particular TV, may have multiple variants of that buzz in it. The reason I did not separate each texture into its own file is that I wanted to keep the original transitions. Some of the things I recorded (particularly the CRT TVs) produced many different variations of a sound, but did not always switch directly from one to another. Instead, they would often smoothly transition between them. Separating each into its own file would ruin these natural transitions, and so I left the recordings as long suites of an entire event or type of sound, with transitions intact. I did this to leave you the creative freedom to chop them up in the way that best suits what you want to do with them.

The sounds are best understood by hearing them:

Electric Noise 
24bit/96kHz, 89 Files (92 with track lists), 1 hour 27 minutes, 1.51GB (1.3GB download)
Includes PDF, CSV, and XLSX track lists.

PDF Track List


Here are some spectrograms from Izotope RX3 Advanced, showing the bizarre web-like tonal elements some of them have.
These images are taken with a linear frequency scale, rather than RX’s default “Mel” scale, to more accurately show the separation of these elements.
Noise Electric 1981 CRT TV On:Off x18 Various H-Hold

Noise Electric 1978 CRT TV H-Hold Sweep 03

Noise Electric 1975 CRT TV Under Screen Motor-Like Pulsing

Noise Electric 1978 CRT TV H-Hold Sweep 05

Noise Electric 1975 CRT TV Touching Antenna 02

Noise Electric 1975 CRT TV Piercing Tone Modulated 02 Meaty

Noise Electric 1978 CRT TV Jagged Buzz Turned Off

Noise Electric 1988 CRT TV On UHF V-HI Tuning Sweep Off

Noise Electric 1978 CRT TV H-Hold Sweep 04

Noise Electric 1981 CRT TV On H-Hold Sweep Off 02

Noise Electric 1975 CRT TV Channel Flipping 02